Let’s talk further about the power of completion. I mentioned it in passing in a recent newsletter and I got quite a few comments and questions about it. Let’s dive in, shall we?
When I write about the power of being complete, I’m referring to a leadership context – not a check list that you tick off. This isn’t about that sense of satisfaction we get from finishing a piece of work or a task. Rather, completion as a state of mind that helps us harness our energy – even when it feels we don’t have much control over things.
I mean, it’s brilliant to achieve what you set out to achieve and in the manner you planned, and when this happens we do enjoy that feeling of completion. Who doesn’t like a good highlighter through your task list?
Yet too often we don’t have power over completing our agenda – maybe sickness, or changing priorities, or other variables get in our way. This thwartedness contributes to feeling annoyed, disempowered, frustrated, resentful and unmotivated. We feel incomplete, and can get stuck in thoughts of ‘if only’, and ‘why did that happen?’
Creating a deeper relationship to completion means cultivating acceptance for how things actually are – versus how we hoped they would be.
This is reeeeaaaally difficult – but practicing it can be so freeing. So stay with me on this.
Being complete with how things are – especially when things haven’t gone to plan – isn’t about pretending those setbacks didn’t happen. You know I’m never about rose-coloured glasses. When we are complete, we stop spending spend time ruminating or wishing things were different. As leaders, being able to be with how things are – and be complete about it – is the sign of mastery.
Completion as a mindset and a practice brings wholeness and healing to what you have experienced.
Being complete includes bringing your thoughts, feelings, and stories about what happened into the light. This means all of it – including the parts you might have played that you regret.
Be it a work conversation that went pear shaped, a relationship that you didn’t tend in the way you would have liked, a period in your life that you feel embarrassed or ashamed of, a dream you let go of – all of these can keep us incomplete.
Some reflective questions to help us get to completion include:
- What needs to be said, done or let go for me to be complete?
This might be a conversation to be had, or support to take up. Is there something you might forgive about yourself or others? Can you cast a compassionate light on your actions, or on what happened?
- What story am I holding on to?
How is that serving you? What are you getting from it? What needs to be done/said/let go of for you to be complete about it?
- How am I feeling?
And let yourself feel it. The disappointment, the thwarted dreams, the embarrassment, the upset, the hurt, the sadness, the fury. It’s human to feel, and our hearts are stronger than we think.
- How can I embody completion?
It might be a ritual you do – I love writing stuff down and burning it. Or going for a walk, or shaking it out…You might write a letter to yourself and frame it through the eyes of you as an older, wiser, loving version of you.
Sometimes simply acknowledging it– that yes this has been tough – is enough to be complete. Often it is holding on to the pretence that everything is great that is so burdensome.
Interestingly, being complete – with the past, with ourselves, with how things are – opens up new possibilities for the future.
Where are you not complete?
Till next week,
With much love